So that'll be an extra £100 for the compact size will it.
Well-connected Apple blogger John Gruber reckons Cupertino's other tablet company - the iPad guys, not the ones working on Amazon's Kindle - are indeed messing around with 7.85in iPad prototypes. "They have one in the lab," he says, "that runs at 1024 x 768 and its just like the 9.7in iPad shrunk down. It's just the iPad, …
This rumoured size shrink doesn't address the main issue, this will still be too big because of Apple's antiquated aspect ratio.
The current crop of 7 inch wide screen tablets fit quite nicely into a coat pocket, this new iPad won't because it will be too wide.
Why do you think the aspect ratio of a tablet should match that of e.g. your TV?
Since I use my iPad mostly for reading e-books and web pages, it makes sense for it to have an aspect ratio closer to that of a book. I just took a random sample of books off my shelf and checked, and most of them were closer to the iPad's ratio than that of a widescreen TV.
In fact, sometimes I get annoyed that the text on a web page is so wide that it makes the print too small in portrait mode on my iPad, so I switch to landscape and am annoyed that I can see so few lines of text. Having a 16:9 aspect ratio would make this annoyance MUCH worse.
Aspect ratio closer to that of a book?
You ever held a Galaxy Tab 7? It's an airport-size book tablet. Absolutely perfect size and aspect for a paperback, why is it so awful in a tablet?
On what planet is a paperback page closer to 4:3 than 16:9, or do all your books come with wooden pages and pop-up animals inside?
Apple has a pretty large R&D budget and it's not like they work on a single form device and assume it'll work. They probably have iPad type devices all the way from 4" screens up to the Pear Pad size. <http://victorious.wikia.com/wiki/File:RobbiePearPad.jpg>
Mine's the one with multiple sized pockets.
Companies have all kinds of things in "the lab". Any company that produces any product, any hardware or software, will have several prototypes on the go at once.
Doesn't mean they'll all become actual shipping products. Doesn't mean they won't either. But the idea that Apple have prototype iPads "in the lab" isn't really news, is it? Next you'll run an article on how Microsoft have "pre-beta" versions of "Windows 9" in their labs or that Apple have iOS 6 or a version of OSX after Mountain Lion in R&D.
I've just had to get an ICS tablet for professional reasons, despite being no big fan of Android, and £119 bought me a CloudNine NeuroPad2 from Amazon, a seven-incher with ICS pre-loaded. And (I admit) to my complete surprise, seven inches seems a very nice form factor to me; browsing, Office etc all work pleasantly. The device even fits in my inside jacket pocket (due to thinness) - kinda like having a Psion on me again. Bit of a surprise really.
Due to the inerds matching the existing iPad 2, the only change is the casing and the screen. Shouldn't cost them much to shrink those to seven inch size. Then they get rid of all iPad 2 stock while claiming a new form factor for existing technology. Would've bought into that if I didn't already have an iPad 2. Existing iPad and iPad 2 owners have no reason to buy one but those who still don't have a Tablet may want the 7" form factor.
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